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Lincoln County justices approved for summer training

Lincoln County supervisors Monday approved registration and accommodations for the county’s two justice court judges for summer classes at a cost of over $1,700 with very little discussion.

Post 1 Judge Joe Portrey and Post 2 Judge Roger Martin asked the board to pay for continuing education classes that will take place in Biloxi this summer.

Portrey’s cost for registration for the four-day conference is $447.96, however, he’ll only be attending three days. His total with accommodations is $835.97.

Martin’s registration plus accommodations for the full stay is $947.96.

The judges are required to take continuing education classes, which are offered at three conferences throughout the year.

The Mississippi Judicial College offers classes in the spring and fall at no charge. The cost of summer class registration is $447.96.

“We get three conferences for the cost of one more or less,” Martin said.

District 1 Supervisor and Board President Jerry Wilson made the motion to cover their costs for the conference and District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey seconded it.  The motion passed 4-0. District 3 Supervisor Nolan Williamson was late to the meeting and missed the vote.

There are 82 justice courts in the state with 197 judges. The number of judges per county is determined by population. Justice Court judges are the only Mississippi judges elected in partisan races. They serve four-year terms.

Lincoln County Justice Court judges have jurisdiction over small claims civil cases involving amounts of $3,500 or less, misdemeanor criminal cases and any traffic offense that occurs outside a municipality. They may conduct bond hearings and preliminary hearings in felony criminal cases and may issue search warrants.

Traffic tickets issued by the State Highway Patrol and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office are resolved in the justice court, as well tickets issued through Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The court hears all matters with regard to DUIs and violations of county ordinances.

According to law, the justice court must have one full day of criminal proceedings and hearings and one full day of civil proceedings and hearings each week.

Every Tuesday is plea day and arraignment day, where defendants are told charges and are allowed to plead either guilty or not guilty.

Portrey works and is on call from the 1st to the 15th each month, while Martin works and is on call from the 16th to the last day of the month.

Judge Joe Portrey

Judge Roger Martin